Laurell K. Hamilton

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Name: Laurell K. Hamilton
Also Known As:
Occupation: Writer
Medium: Novels
Works: The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series; the Merry Gentry series
Official Website(s):
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

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Laurell K. Hamilton (LKH) is the author of the popular urban (erotic) fantasy Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and Merry Gentry series.

Fan Relationships

LKH's relationship with her fandom is sometimes complicated. While LKH has many staunch supporters, the shift in her novels--especially Anita Blake--from urban fantasy/horror into softcore porn created a strong backlash against LKH's writing, and against her personally.

LKH and her supporters (sometimes called troos) -- husband Jon, and employee/friend Darla among them -- have lashed out at fans and anti-fans for their criticisms. In a post on her blog called, she addressed some of her more vocal critics. Below is an excerpt, see Dear Negative Reader for more.

Let this post also put to rest the idea that I don't know that a small minority, albeit a loud minority, hates my series. I've known that for awhile. Like the first time someone stood in line for hours at a signing, smiled at me, and had me sign the book, then said to my face, "I hated this book. I hate what you've done with the series." I blinked at them, and said something like, "Sorry to hear that." When I ask, "Why do you read the books then?" Answer, "I keep hoping they'll get good again." Jon and I have heard variations of this across the country from a maybe five people. But strangely, having someone say to your face, that they hate your books and at least twice, that they hate you stand out in our minds. Since I wouldn't stand in line for hours to tell someone I loved their work, the fact that people stand in line for hours to tell me they hate my work, just puzzles the hell out of me. I don't get it guys. I'm not going to get it. I finally realized that I'm not going to understand this noisy, unpleasant minority of my fans. Because you are fans. Only fans would spend this much time and energy on anything. It's a strange kind of fan, a negative fan, but you spend so much time and energy hating and complaining that some part of you must love the hate and complaining. It's the only explanation I've been able to come up with. But I don't really understand.

And if you don't think you are the minority, well, sorry, guys but you are. I have the sales figures to prove it. Each book’s sales are more than the last. The vast majority of people standing in line love the books, love the series, and tell us so. Some people even ask for more police procedural. I want more, too. If the person asks nicely, not rudely, or in that tone that seems to imply if I don't do what they want the series is doomed to failure, I listen. The arduer is a pain in my, and Anita's butt, too. But I believe in my world. I've done this major metaphysical event. I won't just 'fix it' because it's hard to write around. God, knows, sometimes it is. But the arduer is moving along. I've got my fix in mind, but it's logical, not something that's merely convenient, or because some people hate it. But the arduer is not going away. If that's what you guys are wanting, then it ain't happening. Leave now, because more arduer awaits. The arduer is evolving, as are Anita's powers, but I don't see the arduer going poof. [1]

Stance on Fanworks Using Her Universe/Characters

Hamilton's statement on 2007 regarding her views on fanfic on her own works is below. [2]

It is true, we say NO to fanfic. The question of why comes up often. So here below is the reason. I have also listed the sites where the info came from it you want to look at all of it yourself. Some of the fanfic sites require the originating author to give permission. When asked, they receive a polite no letter. We have never sicced a cadre of lawyers on fanfic sites as some rumor we do. Nor do we comb the Internet looking for fanfic. No one here ever reads fanfic. Of any sort. Mostly we are too busy to do so and it holds no interest. (Personally, my TBR pile is huge and I don’t like reading on screen. There is something about holding a book in my hand, curled in bed with a cup of hot chocolate that is almost magical to me.)

As far as we know, no court has yet ruled on fanfic legality under the Copyright Act. I know there are many “Internet” lawyers out there positive it is okay to do. But they are not judges and their opinions have no legal standing. In fact, many copyright lawyers have no doubt that fanfic is simply an unauthorized ? and therefore infringing ? derivative work that takes without permission the originating author's plots, characters and other copyright-protected literary elements. In any event, until a court ruling comes down that clearly states one way or another, we will go with the blanket no policy. Laurell is not the only author to have this policy. Many do now due to the situation cited below.

MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY: She created the planet of Darkover as a setting for her own series, writing a large number of Darkover stories as a solo author and later collaborating with other authors to produce Darkover anthologies, where once again she encouraged story submissions from unpublished authors. For a time, Bradley actively encouraged fan fiction within the Darkover universe, but this came to an end following a dispute with a fan over an unpublished Darkover novel of Bradley’s that had similarities to some of the fan’s stories. As a result, the novel remained unpublished, and Bradley demanded the cessation of all Darkover fan fiction. The Darkover novels may be considered fantasy with science fiction overtones or science fiction with fantasy overtones, as Darkover was a lost earth colony where psi powers had developed to an unusual degree. US COPYRIGHT LAW

Also noteworthy is the series of Darkover anthologies published by Marion Zimmer Bradley, beginning in 1980, consisting largely of fan fiction extended into her canon. At the time, the intent was to make Darkover a shared universe similar to the Cthulhu Mythos. The author eventually discontinued these after a 1992 skirmish with a fan who claimed authorship of a book [3] identical to one Bradley had published [4] and accused Bradley of “stealing” the idea. [5] The resultant lawsuit [6] cost Bradley a book, and her attorney advised against permitting fan fiction of any kind. This incident is credited by some to have led to a “zero tolerance” policy on the part of a number of other professional authors, including Andre Norton, David Weber, and Mercedes Lackey. [7]

Further Reading/Meta


  1. ^ LKH Blog: Dear Negative Reader, Archived version
  2. ^ Her comments on Marion Zimmer Bradley contain many errors. Firstly, Hamilton confuses a case involving a fan, a zine, and ideas about one of Bradley's characters confused with a non-existent case regarding the professional DAW Darkover Anthologies and a fan's claim of authorship. Hamilton has mistakenly combined these two stories, one of which is true, and one that is confused with the true story but riddled with errors.
  3. ^ It wasn't a book, it was a fanzine. See Moon Phases #12
  4. ^ This is not true. The fracas was about a character and an idea.
  5. ^ This is not true. Bradley offered money to the fan to use the idea, and the fan asked for more money and a byline.
  6. ^ There was no lawsuit.
  7. ^ Hamilton, November 25, 2007 at her blog: see LKH Bit 11/25/07